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Federal High Court to Commence Issuance of Electronic Affidavits

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In a bid to enhance the efficiency and transparency of its operations, the Federal High Court of Nigeria has announced its decision to commence the issuance of electronic affidavits (E-Affidavits) effective July 1, 2024.

This development is part of the court’s efforts to align with global best practices and improve the overall experience of court users.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Registrar of the court, Sulaiman Hassan, the E-Affidavit regime is aimed at ensuring the efficient, transparent, and prompt issuance of affidavits in compliance with global best practices.

The policy is also designed to protect the interests of litigants and other users who desire the use of E-Affidavits.

The court explained that all E-Affidavits shall emanate from designated e-filing units of the court and shall be in an electronic format with specialized features approved by the court.

Court users desirous of obtaining an E-Affidavit are required to make an online application on the Federal High Court’s official website.

To ensure a seamless implementation of the policy, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, has set up a task force to oversee the process.

The court has also clarified that the E-Affidavit shall not replace the manually sworn affidavit but rather complement it.

The introduction of E-Affidavits is expected to reduce the time and effort required to obtain affidavits, making it easier for court users to access this important legal document.

The court’s decision to embrace technology is a welcome development in the nation’s justice system, and it is expected to enhance the overall efficiency of the court.

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The full statement released by the court reads:

” PRESS RELEASE

_FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA ISSUES PRACTICE DIRECTIONS ON USE OF E-AFFIDAVIT_

The Federal High Court of Nigeria wishes to notify the general public of its Practice Directions on the newly introduced Electronic Affidavit (E-Affidavit).

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, the Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, OFR, KSS, FCIArb. (UK), in exercise of his powers as conferred by Orders 57 and 58 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019 and all other powers enabling him in that respect, has made the following Practice Directions:

ORDER I APPLICABILITY

1. These Practice Directions shall, save to the extent as maybe otherwise directed by The Honorable, The Chief Judge, apply to E-Affidavits issuing from the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

2. ORDER II OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

3. Whereas E-Affidavits issued by the Federal High Court are accepted globally and internationally, the purpose of this Practice Directions is to carry into effect for various purposes, the new E-Affidavit regime to be adopted by the Court particularly in;

a. Ensuring efficient, transparent and prompt issuance of E-Affidavits in compliance with global best practices.

b. Protecting the interests of litigants and other users who desire the use of E-Affidavit.

c. Regulating standard of issuance of E-Affidavit upon payment of prescribed fees.

ORDER III IMPLEMENTATION OF E-AFFIDAVIT REGIME

1. Without prejudice to the provisions of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 and the Oaths Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010; all E-Affidavits of the Federal High Court shall emanate from the designated E-filling Unit of the Court.

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2. The E-Affidavit shall be in an electronic format with such specialized features as approved by the Court.

3. The application shall be made online from the official website of the Court.

4. The E-Affidavit software would be implemented by the E-filling Unit under the supervision of the Deputy Chief Registrar (Litigation).

5. For the purpose of swearing to an E-Affidavit under this provision, a deponent to the E-Affidavit shall upload his application electronically through a platform approved by the Chief Judge.

6. A task force shall be set up under the hand of the Chief Judge to give effect to this innovation.

7. The cost of each E-Affidavit shall be as approved and/or reviewed by the Chief Judge from time to time.

8. The Honorable, the Chief Judge may review this Practice Directions and/or issue further directives upon any prevailing circumstance.

ORDER IV CITATION

These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Practice Direction on E-Affidavit), 2024

COMMENCEMENT

These Practice Directions shall take effect from the 1st day of July, 2024.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

1. The E-Affidavit shall


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